Question School me on kids snowclub

Discussion in 'Falls Creek' started by mick chopps, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    looking at putting 3.5y/o Little Chopps into kids snowclub for the 1st time during our week in July and keen to hear others experiences with it.
    Pros/Cons, tips and hints etc, give me whatever you’ve got!

    Thanks in advance!

    And go.
     
  2. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    Dump the kid and walk away. Do not hover.
     
  3. Conners

    Conners One of Us
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    Our kids have loved it, instructors have been great
     
  4. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    most people seem pretty happy with it - except $.

    you probably want to leave plenty of time for big chopps to ski with the little one too

    there was talk of only having full day ski club this year, not sure if that has eventuated
     
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  5. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    yeah I think this is the go also, gonna be hard time keeping Mrs Chopps from "checking in" though.
     
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  6. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    full days or half days? conscious that it's a big day for a 3.5y/o.
     
  7. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    website says half days still available. Not sure what we'll do at this stage.
     
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  8. Ian D

    Ian D Pool Room
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    From experience with mine.

    1) Drop off and run, hovering is a disaster and will lead to a disastrous experience. Everything is new for them and pretty overwhelming and if you hover then they will DEMAND you hang around, if you are gone then they will deal with it fairly quickly.

    2) On arrival for pick up at end of the day have a chocolate bar opened and ready to stick in their mouth the moment you see them. They are still overwhelmed and the instant they see you they are likely to melt down in a big way. They have been holding it together all day and now safety is here and whamo the meltdowns I have seen at pickups from ski school are epic! If you insert the opened chocolate bar in their mouth the instant it opens (about a quarter of a second before the melt down starts) they settle, eat their chocolate and the moment has passed and their emotions settled and you can have a pleasant afternoon. Of course the next day they are expecting it but really the amount of money you have spent what is a chocolate bar a day (even if you have to pay snow dollars for one!)?

    3) Full day. The vast majority of parents can only cope/justify a half day and so what you get in the 2nd half of the day is almost 1 on 1 tutoring for the kiddy! I know by the time mine were in their last year of day care/ski school setup at Falls they spent the afternoon either 1 on 1 or 2 on 1 with an instructor, it was awesome, they learnt so much and after they got used to it (a day or two) couldn't understand why so many kids left early!

    If going for a week, make sure you don't book them in the last day and have a "family ski day". Also once they are OK on the magic carpet get them up there early so they can show you what they can do before dropping them off in the morning, they love it and are experts on the operation of the magic carpets. Afternoons they are often too tired to keep going so best to ski with them for half an hour before drop off once they are able.

    Have fun, family ski holidays are awesome with kids!
     
  9. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    Thanks for the tips @Ian D much obliged!
     
  10. Ian D

    Ian D Pool Room
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    NP - I can't emphasise enough the timing with the chocolate bar, it is critical. It must be opened BEFORE you see them. Don't go groping around in your pockets looking for it once you have them, meltdown has started and chocolate bar will be most likely useless.

    They must see you AND the opened bar at the same instant and as you greet them say something like "hey sweetie, look what I have for you!" Bang in goes the bar before they even really register what has happened.

    Then you can talk to them about how it looks like they had an awesome time and they will start to tell you a story of something that happened and crisis has been averted.
     
  11. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    Chocolate bar timing critical! Got it!
     
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  12. emkae

    emkae One of Us
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    As the 3.5 yo spend some time in the area outside the window in Cloud9 it is a good opportunity to check in without them knowing at the same time as having a coffee or break from your own skiing
     
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  13. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    okay, Mrs Chopps can keep an eye out, I'll keep skiing...
     
  14. parkmonkey

    parkmonkey Old n' Crusty
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    Does this lead to eating disorders later in life? LOL :)
     
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  15. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room
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    Both of my kids went to Ski School at FC from the age of 3, always did full days and while I'm sure there were moments when they got frustrated and teary, the instructors are really good at dealing with it. Lots of trips back to Cloud 9 for hot chocolates and to get warm.
    My advice is to take them in and make a quick getaway, never be tempted to observe them from a distance, as if you are espied or witness them having a tough time, you will be tempted to rush in and give comfort and all is lost.
    Never leave them waiting at the end of the day, be there on time and don't underestimate the importance of the Sparkler skiing, if they still do it. They will have fun and so will you.
     
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  16. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    *what if they don't like chocolate?

    **or snow?
     
  17. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    Can confirm that she likes both.
     
  18. parkmonkey

    parkmonkey Old n' Crusty
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    Do the humane thing and take them to the vet
     
  19. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    She's pretty pumped about the whole thing. Going to "ski school" seems like a big kid thing to do so straight away she's on board with the idea!
     
  20. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    Boarding?

    Good work
     
  21. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room
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    Obviously for young children keeping them warm is vital, a miserable cold kid is always going to object.
    If you can lay your hands on a pair of those plastic skis that you strap to their shoes, it's a good idea to let them walk around in them before going to the snow. My son used to put his ski suit and apres boots on and walk up and down the hall in his plastic skis, was so desperate to get to ski school, never had any issues making him stay.....it was getting him to leave that was the problem!
     
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  22. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    Lel nah.

    More chance of me letting her support Richmond.
     
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  23. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    Or she could follow her old man and borrow a Tigers scarf when ever they play finals
     
  24. Peanut

    Peanut Hard Yards

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    I’d also suggest talking up the ski school a bit before you get there, and give your little one some idea of what to expect. My boys are 7 and 9, but the 7 year old has autism and talking things up beforehand goes a long way to preventing meltdowns.

    Last year was their first time on snow. Mstr 9 did a day of ski school, then hubby who is an ex-teacher and experienced skiier took over the instruction. Mstr 7 insisted on snowboarding. The minimum age for group snowboarding lessons where we were was 8 and he was 6 at the time, so we shelled out the $$$ for private lessons with an adaptive instructor.

    This year it looks like they’ve dropped the minimum age to 7. We’re currently finding out if we can put Mstr 7 in group lessons with an adaptive volunteer. In the meantime, we’ve recruited Mstr 9 to back us up on how awesome the group lessons are. Things like “free hot chocolates in the special kids snow school only area” are proving to be selling points. We’ve gone from a flat “no” on the idea of group lessons to “only if I get to have lunch with Mstr 9”.

    I’ll have to keep the idea of an open chocolate bar at the end of the day in mind, too.
     
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  25. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    One step ahead, we had her on these year before last up at Falls and last year at Lake Mountain. Might whip them out again at home though over the coming months, will be a good reintroduction.
     
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  26. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    This one time at band camp... in fairness a Tigers final was a novel idea back then.
     
  27. Conners

    Conners One of Us
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    Only ever did full days for both kids.
    Fully support drop and run (the staff prefer it as well)
    Early intervention with chocolate at pickup really does work.
    And they will love being able to show off everything that they learnt on the final day. Have done many many laps of Mouse Trap and subsequently Monkey Bar over the years! Still love it.
     
  28. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    Mouse trap is pretty tiresome (but serves an important purpose) IMHO Monkey Bar is a fantastic beginner slope (and you can take turns to sneak off down Scotts while the other watches the little one)
     
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  29. Conners

    Conners One of Us
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    Agree, Monkey Bar is fantastic, super wide and not too long for learning.
    Only an issue if people don’t read and disappear into Corkscrew Gully of course
     
  30. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    true

    but then some numpties go off the end of mousetrap and end up on Lakeside
     
  31. Conners

    Conners One of Us
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    LOL
     
  32. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    We stayed on snow and always rode a lift and skied back to the lodge with our offspring. She loved showing off what she learned and a ski home was often via 2 or 3 runs.
     
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  33. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    skiing home from ski school is a very long way for a little kid who is just learning. seen too many people trying to get kids to ski home before they are ready - and ended up carrying some on my shoulders
     
  34. MarkGC

    MarkGC One of Youse
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    All 4 of my kids went through snow school (Perisher mind you so some of my experience may be different at Falls).

    The whole day program is what you want, it comes with lunch, think of how much lunch costs on mountain, then look at the difference between half (no lunch) and full day. You will end up with a very cheap afternoon in real terms.

    The way you get to ski school and home again is VERY IMPORTANT. If it is a big hassle for the child they will end up not wanting to go. This does not mean they get carried, my youngest always carried my stocks while I took my skies and hers. This gave her walking sticks on the uneven surfaces and meant she felt proud for 'helping'.

    A fun size choccy bar in the pocket always works wonders.

    Don't push it in the afternoon after you collect them. If they are ready to hit the slopes at the end of the day, you will know, organise with your partner before you pick them up who is not skiing until last lifts, its very rare to have all kids keen for a big afternoon.

    If you do ski after ski school find quiet places, I'm not too familiar with Falls, but the challenge at Perisher was that at that time of the day with a kid you are pretty much stuck on front valley (so very high traffic), but with a bit of planning you will find some nice hiding places even in the busy areas.

    Don't forget that while we tend to think of snow as something to ride on, to kids its mysterious and exciting. Find a treed area let them pop off their skis, have a snowball fight, roll around, create chutes with their butts etc.

    Mum and Dad having lessons helps sell ski school to the kids, you are not dumping them to go have fun, you have to go to your lesson too. Likewise helmets are an easier sell if you are wearing one.

    I could keep going but my fingers are tired ... have fun cause the kids definitely will.
     
  35. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    Perisher not Falls.
     
  36. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    understood. a good idea that just doesn't translate well to falls
     
  37. Ian D

    Ian D Pool Room
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    Cruising back down the hometrails with your kid between your legs in a big snowplough, pushing them out in front catching up to them and listening to them squeal with delight is a life memory. Certainly not first couple of days but depending on how quickly they pick it up sure. Once they doing loops of mousetrap you can certainly do it and if they make drovers it is a snack.
     
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  38. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local
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    Our 3 year old could not handle a full day. We tried once and he fell asleep on the chair lift and the instructor had to carry him down.

    I’d also put him in the car straight after ski school and drive him so he’d fall asleep.

    If he gets it, do a before clsss ski with him. After class ours was so tired he couldn’t/wouldn’t ski and wanted me to carry him.

    We also built the ski school up to be fun - ie no parents etc. he’d been to a kids club in Fiji so we called this snow kids club and he loved it
     
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  39. Peanut

    Peanut Hard Yards

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    This. My first thought when my kids wanted to sit at the edge of the beginners run and make snowball/snow angels was “WTH are they doing?!” Then I remembered that they’d never seen snow before and were just being kids.
     
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  40. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local
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    Also means you can’t walk ANYWHERE without stopping every 2 meters
     
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  41. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local
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    And gloves - duct tape to their wrists - I used rubber bands to keep them in. You’ll be putting them on every 2 seconds.

    We had a few pairs and found the mittens worked best.
     
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  42. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    yeah, have taken enough tots to the snow to know this one...
     
  43. zac150

    zac150 One of Us
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    Our kids love ski school but then both loved childcare at the same age.

    If your worried about fatigue space the ski days, we did 3 our of five on the first year, 4 out of five (2 back to back) and this year will be the first full time.

    In terms of cost, I have the opposite view, it’s expensive not to put them in ski school, apart from the fact they actually learn and enjoy the snow it’s a waste of money buying a ticket for yourself and then not using it.

    We also prepped the kids, our first used to practice clipping in and out of her skis on the carpet (she was that proficient she clipped in on day one and started skiing down the hill).

    Plan the day, we let ours know, ok so we are going to go to ski school the. After we pick you up we can either have a couple of laps then a hot choc.

    My big advice is don’t push it! Having fun at the snow is more important to us than having to have a fun “family holiday”, we know the joint skiing will come (this year we have a few days planned). If at the end of the day they are knackered, go have a hot choc and talk about how much fun skiing is. Don’t push them into a few more runs as this is when the melt down will happen and shit gets ugly!

    Also remember ski school is structured for a reason, so the kids get used to skiing for a few hours then resting. Having the hot choc then jumping back on the slopes for one or two more runs can work, but as above don’t push it.
     
  44. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    Tie the mittens together on a long string. Thread them through the jacket sleeves.
     
  45. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    what a clever idea.

    We put the gloves on first then the pulled the jacket on over the top. tends to work well.
     
  46. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room
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    We used to do that when I was a kid in England.
     
  47. Langfi

    Langfi Hard Yards

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    How do the kids go with handling all the new equipment that suddenly gets put on them? Goggles, helmet, Mittens. etc Even zipping up their own jacket!

    I'm planning on putting 5yr old in ski school half day. Would be the first time in snow and feels like I need a half day with them just to practice putting everything on. I'm sure the instructors are used to helping them.
     
  48. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    It helps if the kids have some idea, but ski school staff are very practised at getting a gaggle of kids outside.
     
  49. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room
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    The thing that causes the most stress for little kids is the gloves. If they ride a bike, they're used to the helmet. The tip about attaching the gloves to string and putting them through the sleeves is a good one, although I found elastic better.
     
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  50. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty
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    This is bringing back memories. Mostly bad! My kids hated ski school (still do) with a passion unfortunately!